News/Blog

Dan Simons on Success, Building Relationships & New Restaurant Openings

Success comes in many shapes and sizes. In the hospitality industry, it means serving the best food and drink you can, in a welcoming space guests want to revisit, and fostering positive relationships… one guest, purveyor, and team member at a time. This may be a tall order, but for our Dan Simons – it’s all in a day’s work. Speaking recently to TechGuruDaily.com, Dan said, “It isn’t about turning tables quickly, which was the old model of successful restaurant management for casual, high-volume restaurants. First and foremost, it’s about providing memorable service. This means meeting the guests where they… read more

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Out in Front: Dan Simons Talks Restaurant Trends

As co-owner in VSAG client Farmers Restaurant Group’s growing Founding Farmers farmer-owned brand of restaurants, Dan Simons is asked to represent VSAG and our clients on a regular basis. Dan loves getting involved and participating in restaurant and hospitality industry conversations that lead to open discussions, and in turn shared education and progress. Recently, Dan was invited to join Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards, and a  handful of other experts, in a lively panel discussion about industry trends targeting the future, and development of, suburban areas such as Pennsylvania’s King of Prussia district. Why King of Prussia? Because the… read more

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Are Reservation Cancellation Fees Good Business or Bad Karma?

A great best practice: assessing and evaluating business decisions, forecasts, and plans regularly to make sure you’re in line with your goals. Bonus here: making adjustments before issues arise. One business practice that has snagged our attention recently is restaurant reservation policy, specifically reservation cancellation fees: FRIEND or FOE? Let’s be clear. Restaurants aren’t the enemy. As owners and operators, you’re running a business. Sure, to feed people great food, but let’s be honest, to also make a profit. Even the leader in online restaurant reservation systems, OpenTable, has weighed in on this topic revealing that no-shows and last-minute cancellations… read more

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From National Press to Industry Panels, Dan Simons is Out Front for VSAG & Our Clients

We love it when our co-founders are out in front representing VSAG and our clients in restaurant & hospitality industry events and press features. Dan Simons has been busy making the rounds recently and here’s a look at what he’s been up to: First up, Dan’s insightful feature with the folks at the TODAY show’s Parenting Team. The interview, entitled “8 Reasons Your Kids Should Work in Restaurants,” highlights Dan’s take about why restaurant work is not only a draw for teens and young adults but why he thinks every kid, beginning with teenagers, should work in restaurants. From imparting… read more

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Using Restaurant Week to Your Advantage

Aligning with your local area’s summer Restaurant Week festivities is a great way to promote and market your restaurant in order to bring awareness to your business and get customers, old and new, in your door. Our hometown DC-area will host this summer’s Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week from August 14-20, where about 250 local restaurants, which span Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland, will join the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington in celebrating Washington, D.C. Restaurant Week. This fantastic event is always one of the most buzzed about annual events and one of the best ways local residents… read more

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Summer Food Feature: Part Two

We’re holding on to not only the last few weeks of summer, but also the tasty, seasonal dishes our culinary teams have been offering up to clients this season. Where do we start this summer food feature? With one of the season’s light, yet most versatile dishes: fresh summer salads. As a starter or entrée, we love us some easy summer recipes like fresh-from-the-farm salad. From unique greens and vegetable combinations to sliced fruit dripping with flavor, summer salad options seem endless. One of our most popular salads is packed with flavor… and many vegetables. The name says it all:… read more

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Simons Speaks: Office Space

Our very own, Dan Simons, recently spoke to business industry leader Inc.com to discuss what your office space says about your company culture. Sure, as restaurant and hospitality professionals, we know that first impressions are everything in our restaurant spaces, but Dan was happy to speak to the often-overlooked sibling: office space. In the article How to Use Your Workspace to Ignite Your Culture, Dan loves the idea of thinking outside the proverbial box and taking your office space on the road. What does that mean exactly? Well, it doesn’t get much better for Dan and his team to work in… read more

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Dan Simons: The Value of his “Million Dollar Graduate Degree”

Our resident straight shooter, Dan Simons, was featured in a professional-turned-personal article recently, one in which focused on business acumen, the value of education, lessons learned – and the value of embracing failure. Yup, we said it. And what is our founder doing talking to the press about failure? It’s all in an effort for transparency. In walking his talk, transparency is a must for Dan, and our team. An honest, great read, Dan tells his story to The Next Web. An Entrepreneur’s Failure Equals a Million Dollar MBA speaks to hitting rock bottom and the all-important lesson of crawling out… read more

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Summer Food Feature: Part One

Summer is here. That means more & more seasonal summer food, easy summer recipes, and light, refreshing drinks to keep guests well fed, satiated, and happy. One current food trend we’re loving these days (and we’re guiding our clients to implement with ease)… house-made specialties, such as scratch sodas and hand-pulled noodles. We’ve gone straight to our expert sources (i.e. our amazing, in-the-know culinary team, including R&D Specialist Amanda Webb) to get the Summer Food 411 on what makes house-made specialties – well, so special. Top of the list: taking that extra step showcases to guests that you’re willing to… read more

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VSAG on Watch: Pisco Takes Center Stage

South of the border spirits are taking center stage as we see an influx of delicious, interesting new spirits coming from and inspired by the tastes of South America. Spirits such as Brazilian cachaca, Peruvian pisco, and Bolivian singani (all of which are in the port wine, brandy, rum families but each have their own, distinct persona), are entering the U.S. market and being paired with citrus/fruits, chilies, and herbs making for some delicious, smooth, and flavorful cocktails. All are quickly becoming favorites on the American bar scene, but we see a standout: Pisco. What is pisco? Pisco is described… read more

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